Skip to main content

Funding Opportunities

Elevating the work of Cornell social scientists via funding throughout the research lifecycle. 

Seed Grants

Seed Grants

The next round of funding will open in Fall 2024.

All PI-eligible Cornell faculty in the social sciences are eligible to apply for these awards. Those not already affiliated with CCSS will be required to affiliate when they apply.

Research Grants

The primary goal of CCSS Seed Grants is to jump-start research. We are particularly interested in funding projects likely to lead to external funding, collaborations with other Cornell faculty, or other outcomes, such as completing a book project, new analysis for an R&R at a prominent journal, or a project with substantial policy impact. We also support research by faculty teams spanning social science disciplines or units and interdisciplinary projects led or co-led by social scientists. Maximum award of $12,000.

Conference/Workshop Grants

Interdisciplinary conferences/workshops that are eligible for funding are those that are held at Cornell, open to all Cornell faculty members, and openly publicized. Maximum award of $5,000.

Have the following information ready to paste into the application portal: 

  • Name, title, departmental and college affiliation
  • Co-PIs (if you have a Co-PI, you must specify a lead PI)
  • Proposal title
  • Total dollar amount requested
  • Proposal type: research or conference
  • Provide your plan for data replication and archiving or a brief statement explaining why archiving is not possible (see the CCSS data archiving policy here)
  • Pre-registration of experiments, if applicable
  • IRB attestation if human subjects will be used
  • Resubmission: Is this proposal a resubmission to the CCSS? If yes, please discuss your revisions in the proposal narrative.
  • Proposal narrative that is double spaced and no more than five pages in length (see guidelines below). The narrative should include replication details (see above).
  • Budget and budget justification (see guidelines below)
  • CV for the PI, as well as CVs for up to two additional investigators (maximum three pages each) 

Proposal narrative guidelines:

  • Should not exceed five pages, should be double-spaced, 12-point font
  • A one-paragraph “publication ready” abstract (45 words max.) for posting on the CCSS website if the project is funded.
  • A comprehensive description of proposed activities and their significance, including details about the research design (if applicable)
  • Data archiving/replicability plan or a brief statement explaining why archiving is not possible (see CCSS data archiving policy for more info)
  • Plan of future activities with dates corresponding to major outputs (grant submission deadlines, book draft due date, publication draft submission goals)
  • Plans for pursuing additional funding (including a link to RFP), if any

Budget justification guidelines:

  • Total funding amount requested
  • List of the individual expenses and a brief explanation of each expense 
  • The budget justification does not count against the five-page-long narrative length limit
  • The budget can include replication expenses


  • A brief bibliography (under one page)
  • A brief sample survey or portion of a survey instrument may be included as an appendix and will not count against the narrative page length

For more information, see the frequently asked questions tab. If you have a question, contact


The maximum small grant award is $12,000. Faculty can only be part of one CCSS seed grant submission per round. Faculty receiving a previous CCSS grant research award are eligible for another research award two years after their most recent award. Research grant awardees can submit a conference grant proposal within the two-year wait period, and conference grant awardees can submit a research proposal within the two-year wait period, as these are tracked separately. Likewise, there is a two-year wait period to submit a conference proposal after receiving a CCSS grant conference award.

CCSS approval is required for the principal investigator to reallocate more than 25 percent of the funds at any point after the award is issued; please contact Funds not used within two years are returned to the CCSS for reallocation to other small grant awardees unless an extension is granted. In the event that the principal investigator resigns from Cornell, the remaining funds are to be returned to the CCSS.

The CCSS and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation at Cornell University provide the funding for the CCSS grant program.

Data Archiving Policy

CCSS is committed to ensuring that research and data are open and available to support cumulative gains in social scientific knowledge. All CCSS-funded projects must provide a statement describing plans to archive data and/or replication materials in an appropriate and permanent archive, such as CCSS’s Data & Reproduction Archive, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, or the Qualitative Data Repository (QDR), or a brief statement explaining why archiving is not possible. CCSS’s complete archiving and replication policy can be found here. We encourage applicants and grantees to consult with one of CCSS’s Data Archive Specialists, regarding any questions. 


If your project will require IRB approval, you must receive approval before engaging in the research and provide it to your departmental finance liaison before drawing funds from your award. 

Eligible activities

CCSS grants support direct research expenses. Examples include the costs of collecting data, participant incentives, traveling to and from research or training sites, data replication and archiving costs, meetings with collaborators or potential funders, undergraduate or hourly graduate research assistance (summer grad RA stipends are also acceptable) supporting the faculty project, and specialized hardware or software necessary to conduct the research.

Examples of expenses ineligible for a CCSS grant award are: publication fees or other costs associated with disseminating research (e.g., conference travel), faculty and/or Cornell staff salaries, travel costs for caregivers (for such funding, see here), general-use hardware or software, and training (such as on an econometric technique). CCSS does not support undergraduate or graduate student research projects with faculty CCSS grant funds. If funding is allocated to support graduate research assistants, the faculty member’s role in the project must be specified.

Review Process

Each research project application with a budget above $5,000 is reviewed by three Cornell social scientists who have submitted within the same round, but are not in the applicant’s department. Every applicant will be asked to review 3-5 applications. The reviews must be completed by the deadline, or CCSS will disqualify the reviewing candidate’s application for funds. CCSS will internally review proposals with budgets below $5,000.  

Acknowledging CCSS

For projects selected for funding, please acknowledge the Cornell Center for Social Sciences in any presentations or publications resulting from the project. We recommend using the phrase, “This research was supported by a Cornell Center for Social Sciences Grant.” Please also let the CCSS know when papers are accepted and/or publicly available so we can help publicize them.


Contact CCSS if you have questions about any of these policies.

Is my research considered social science?

By social science research, we tend to take a broad approach to social science. We typically support research that is eligible for funding from social science directorates of the major federal funding agencies. At the National Science Foundation, for example, this includes the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, the Directorate for Social and Behavioral Sciences, and their subsidiary organizations (e.g., Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, Social and Economic Sciences, Law and Social Sciences, Human Resource Development, etc.).

CCSS also funds social scientific research eligible for funding by other federal agencies. For example, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy support social science research. In general, CCSS follows the federal government’s lead, and any social science research project eligible for funding from a federal agency is also suitable for CCSS support. CCSS strongly encourages participation by social scientists housed in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary departments across Cornell.

Finally, we support social scientists engaging in collaborative research with non-social scientists, as long as the social scientist has a lead role in the project and the project has a significant social science component likely to lead to publications in peer-reviewed social science journals or other outlets. For example, CCSS would consider funding a social scientist who is co-leading, along with a geneticist, a study of the relationship between gene activation and social environments. It would not support a geneticist who is the sole investigator in a study of the relationship between gene activation and social environments.

What constitutes a strong budget justification?

A detailed budget justification gives the review committee a clear idea of what the funds will support and includes sources for cost estimates. For example, list the model of equipment or software to be purchased and its cost from a particular vendor, like How much does a ticket cost on Expedia or from AAA for car rental or air travel when you estimate you will be in the field? How many hours and at what rate per hour do you plan to hire a research assistant, based on what precedent?

At the time of submission of the proposal, does the proposed experiment already have to have IRB approval?


Do all the research project’s team members have to be at Cornell?


Can the research project include co-PIs, post-docs, or graduate assistants who are not faculty members?

The lead PI must be a Cornell PI-eligible faculty member. However, the entire research team does not have to be on Cornell’s faculty. The team can include non-tenure-track research associates, post-docs, and graduate students participating as collaborators and/or hired research assistants. However, CCSS grants cannot be used for tuition, stipends, or student fees on graduate assistantship lines. Grants cannot be used for graduate student research projects or dissertation projects. If funding is allocated to support graduate research assistants, the faculty member’s role in the project must be specified. 

If awarded a CCSS grant, when could I expect to receive the funding?

The PI is asked to complete an award transfer form. Once the account is established and the award transform form is submitted to CCSS, awards are typically transferred by the end of the month. CCSS small grant awards must be transferred by the end of the fiscal year.

What do I do if the budget needs to be reallocated after receiving my award?

PIs need CCSS approval to reallocate more than 25% of the funds at any point after funding. Please contact to request a reallocation and include the project title, award year, account number, account balance, and reason for the requested reallocation.

How do I apply for a no-cost extension? 

Grant awards have a term date of roughly two years. If you have not been able to complete your research by your award’s term date, you may request a no-cost extension by filling out this brief CCSS Grant Extension Form. If the PI does not request an extension, funds not used within two years are returned to CCSS for reallocation to subsequent grant awardees. If you have questions, please contact

How does the CCSS evaluate proposals?

Projects requesting over $5,000 are reviewed by three peer scholars from the same application round, outside the applicant’s department. Each proposal is evaluated with the following criteria: quality of social science scholarship (including theory and methodology), the importance of the core ideas and whether they are innovative, whether the work is likely to inspire future research, and whether the budget is appropriate. We also consider whether the research design is methodologically sound, the likelihood of the research resulting in publication in peer-reviewed journals, and whether the project is likely to obtain external funding at some point. We fund conferences of interest to social scientists across the university when the budget appears justified and primarily supports Cornell social science faculty members. Projects requesting under $5,000 in funding are reviewed internally.

If I have been funded by the CCSS before, how long should I wait before reapplying?

Faculty who have previously received a CCSS grant as a lead PI can reapply for funding after a two-year wait. In other words, if a PI received CCSS funding in Fall 2021, the faculty member may reapply in Fall 2023. Exceptions to this are that prior research grant awardees can submit a conference grant proposal and vice versa within the two-year wait period, and responses to calls for research on special topics may not be subject to the two-year rule. Research grant awardees must wait the full two years before submitting another research grant proposal, and conference grant awardees must wait two years before submitting another conference grant proposal. CCSS Faculty Fellowships are not subject to the two-year rule.

Can I submit one proposal as the PI and serve on another project as a co-PI?

Effective for the Fall 2024 round: no, each faculty member can only be part of one CCSS grant proposal per cycle.

Can CCSS Grants be used to fund graduate student research?

Not at this time.

Please see the Overview section for more information on the seed grants program. Please direct questions to

Spring 2024

Around Cornell article

Social Onboarding for LLMs: Examining Communication and Social Support Around Generative AI Use

Brennan Antone, Assistant Professor, Information Science, Cornell Bowers CIS
Malte Jung, Associate Professor, Information Science, Cornell Bowers CIS

Generative AI chatbots (e.g., ChatGPT) require skill to use effectively. We consider how social learning (human-human interaction) can shape how people approach Generative AI. Through interviews and observation of chatbot use in social conditions, we explore how people learn to prompt and apply AI tools.

Exploring the Domestic Impact of Roman Imperialism at Pompeii

Caitie Barrett, Associate Professor, Classics, College of Arts & Sciences

This archaeological excavation examines the impact of the Roman conquest on ancient households at Pompeii, a city originally governed by a non-Roman Italic people. This critical analysis of domestic space intervenes in archaeological and anthropological discourse on imperialism, inequality, and identity in the ancient Mediterranean.

The Civic Playground Project

Leighton Beaman, Associate Professor, Human Centered Design, Cornell Human Ecology
Zaneta Hong, Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture, Cornell CALS
Janet Loebach, Evalyn Edwards Milman Assistant Professor in Child Development, Human Centered Design, Cornell Human Ecology

The Civic Playground Project seeks to empower individuals of different backgrounds, languages, and abilities through shared modes of making and collaborative play. The project is anchored in the development and deployment of inclusive frameworks that foster engagement between communities and their built environments.

Participation in Local Governance Before and After the Covid-19 Pandemic: The Case of School Boards

Kendra Bischoff, Associate Professor, Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences

The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of school governance in local communities as districts’ independent decisions not only affected children’s education, but also adults’ labor force participation. This project examines how the pandemic, and its interaction with community demographics, affected school board election turnout rates.

The Hidden Costs of Intrinsic Motivation

Vanessa Bohns, Professor, Organizational Behavior, ILR School
Kaitlin Woolley, Associate Professor, Marketing and Management Communication, Johnson School, SC Johnson College of Business
Sangah Bae, Organizational Behavior, ILR School

Intrinsic motivation is championed as a benefit that people should aspire to, with little attention paid to the negative consequences. We study an interpersonal cost of high intrinsic motivation: managers are more likely to burden intrinsically motivated employees with extra work tasks.

Human Preference Alignment for Generative AI Models with Individual-Specific Parameters

Ricardo Daziano, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell Engineering

The team proposes a novel, yet simple, approach for aligning generative AI with human preferences by focusing on domain-specific generation controls and using discrete choice econometric modeling. This method aims to maximize generated content's appeal and inform willingness-to-pay estimates in economics settings, particularly in applications such as sustainability label design.

Seaweed as climate technology: Scaling up materials for a justice-oriented, low-carbon future

Jenny Goldstein, Assistant Professor, Global Development, Cornell CALS

Many scientists, policymakers, and investment firms have touted seaweed’s potential role in the transition to a low-carbon economy globally. This project asks: what are the social, political-economic, and ecological barriers and consequences to scaling up seaweed as climate technology and how can seaweed be part of a justice-centered technological future?

Machine-Assisted Mitigation of Medical Practice Variation

Sachin Gupta, Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management, Marketing and Management Communication, Johnson School, SC Johnson College of Business

Emaad Manzoor, Assistant Professor, Marketing and Management Communication, Johnson School, SC Johnson College of Business

Medical practice variation — individuals with the same characteristics and medical symptoms being prescribed different treatments — is a long-standing and widespread problem. This research proposes a method to discover medical practice variation given historical prescribing data, and evaluates personalized, generative AI-based interventions to reduce such variation in the field.

Evaluating the Impact of Different Application Ranking Policies on College Admission Outcomes

Thorsten Joachims, Professor, Computer Science & Information Science, Cornell Bowers CIS 
Rene Kizilcec, Assistant Professor, Information Science, Cornell Bowers CIS 
Nikhil Garg, Assistant Professor, Operations Research and Information Engineering, Cornell Tech

Jinsook Lee, Information Science, Bowers CIS
Emma Harvey, Information Science, Bowers CIS

We evaluate how the choice of policy in ranking college applications affects different sociodemographic groups. Training on four years of application and decision data, we compare ML algorithms with different features removed (e.g., race/ethnicity, major preference) to understand how this changes the applicant ranking.

Developing and Testing Strategies for Building Trust in Higher Education Environments

Rene Kizilcec, Assistant Professor, Information Science, Bowers CIS
Scott Allen, Physics, College of Arts & Sciences

Trust and psychological safety in work environments benefit workers’ performance, learning, career satisfaction, and mental health. Students in higher education are deserving of these same benefits. We will use focus groups and experiments to adapt research-based trust-building strategies for higher education environments.

Frequency and naturalness in heritage language acquisition

Jennifer Kuo, Assistant Professor, Linguistics, College of Arts & Sciences

Language acquisition is sensitive to learning biases, but the effects of such biases are obscured when speakers receive sufficient linguistic input. This project tests the hypothesis that heritage speakers will be more sensitive to learning biases, because they receive limited exposure to the target language.

Climate Change, Chronic Disease and What It Means to Eat Well in Postcolonial Tanzania

Stacey A. Langwick, Associate Professor, Anthropology, College of Arts & Sciences

This grant supports the development of methodological tools and the cultivation of local research partnerships to investigate what it means to “eat well” in Tanzania given rising rates of chronic disease, growing climate impacts, expanding social inequality, and intensifying enclosures of land and plant life.

Culture and Creativity Assessment

Wyatt Lee, Assistant Professor, Management and Organizations, Nolan School of Hotel Administration, SC Johnson College of Business
Yonghoon Lee, Texas A&M University

Recent years have witnessed significant contributions from East Asian culture to the global culture scene. However, in contrast to this evidence, prior studies indicate that East Asians are perceived as less creative than North Americans. In this project, we aim to unravel this puzzle.

The Good Life in the Amazon Forest: Fortifying the Capacity to Aspire of Chico Mendes RESEX Youth

Renata Leitao, Assistant Professor, Human Centered Design, Cornell Human Ecology

This project examines the aspirations of youth of the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve in the Brazilian Amazon. Using a Participatory Action Research methodology, it aims to enhance youth’s capacity to envision and realize projects that align forest conservation with their aspirations of the Good Life.

Community-based Model-building and Institutional Choices

Farzin Lotfi-Jam, Assistant Professor, Architecture, Cornell AAP
Jennifer Minner, Associate Professor, City and Regional Planning, Cornell AAP
Courtney Van Bower, City and Regional Planning, Cornell AAP

This research project combines agent-based modeling and scenario planning to engage stakeholders in examining reinvestment choices along a spectrum of building reuse to demolition, taking into account larger non-profit and public entities that play an outsized role related to innovation along this spectrum.

Designing Homo Silicus: Methods and Benchmarks for Rational LLMs

Emaad Manzoor, Assistant Professor, Marketing and Management Communication, Johnson School, SC Johnson College of Business

This research develops approaches and datasets to train LLMs to be logically rational (eg. that do not express self-contradictory beliefs). Our work will enable using LLMs to accurately simulate human responses to information treatments, such as persuasion and propaganda, and thus reduce researchers' and practitioners' reliance on costly belief elicitation from human subjects.

Thoughts & Prayers: The effect of partisan responses to mass shootings on public support for guns

Isabel Perera, Assistant Professor, Government, College of Arts & Sciences
Colleen Barry, Professor, Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy
Anil Menon, University of California-Merced

Mass shootings have steadily increased in the United States, where more than 600 of such incidents now occur each year (Gun Violence Archive 2023). A majority of both Democrats and Republicans in fact support a number of gun reform policies. But at the elite level, Republican lawmakers are reluctant to pursue gun reform legislation, often offering condolences or shifting attention away from firearm policy toward other, more distant policy areas, such as mental health or unchecked criminal activity. To what extent does exposure to such rhetoric by Republican lawmakers re-shape public support for gun reform policies? We propose a survey experiment to examine how exposure to alternative rhetoric by Republican lawmakers about a mass shooting incident shapes public support toward several gun reform policies.

Understanding public perceptions of anthropogenic causes of bird mortality: Cats and collisions

Tina Phillips, Assistant Director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Shelby Carlson, Research Associate, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

After habitat loss, predation by free-roaming domestic cats (Felis catus) and collisions with windows are among the leading causes of bird mortality throughout North America, collectively resulting in the loss of over 3 billion birds every year in the United States alone. Given that birds’ exposure to domestic cats and hazardous windows can be reduced through a variety of behavioral interventions, understanding public perceptions of and preferences for myriad mitigation methods is a critical step in reducing anthropogenic sources of bird mortality. This proposal describes a potential research study to advance understanding of the human dimensions related to avian mortality caused by window collisions and cat predation.

Do women face more penalties for unoriginal work? Evidence from the music industry

Jacqueline Rifkin, Assistant Professor, Marketing and Management Communication, Johnson School, SC Johnson College of Business
Devon Proudfoot, Assistant Professor, Human Resource Studies, ILR School

Being accused of copying others’ ideas can have significant financial and reputational costs. Using music copyright infringement case data and controlled experiments, we investigate whether the originality of women’s work is more likely to be questioned, with implications for understanding gender inequities in creative industries.

Who Can Freeze the Future?: A Survey of Employer-Sponsored Assisted Reproductive Technology Benefits

Sharon Sassler, Professor, Sociology, Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy
Jamie Budnick, Assistant Professor, Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences
Shio Lim, Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences

Using a mixed methods approach, this project systematically examines the landscape of fertility and family leave policies among the largest corporations in the US by surveying Fortune 500 Companies. Investigating the supply side of ART will provide insights on reproductive healthcare access amid rising demand.

A Noncooperative Model for Coalition Formation and Negotiation and Its Application to Climate Game

Kevin Tang, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell Engineering

A noncooperative model for cooperative games is proposed to treat coalition formation and negotiation simultaneously. The model naturally incorporates farsightedness of players, and can be applied to coalitional games with externalities. Its potential application to Climate game is discussed.

11th Annual Global Forum for Financial Consumers at Cornell University August 8-9 2024

Sharon Tennyson, Professor, Economics, Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy

The Global Forum for Financial Consumers (GFFC) is an annual conference organized by the International Academy of Financial Consumers (IAFICO). The GFFC aims to provide an opportunity for international academics, policymakers, and professionals to share knowledge, experiences, and practical solutions for financial consumer protection. 2024 marks the 11th year of the conference and the first time it is being held in the US.

Racialized Labor Markets, the Work-Citizenship Nexus, and Platform Work in the U.S. and South Africa

Andrew Wolf, Assistant Professor, Global Labor and Work, ILR School
Amir Anwar, University of Edinburgh

This study investigates how platform labor becomes racialized through a survey of U.S. and South African workers. Exploring issues of race, immigration, job quality, and worker resistance. We aim to establish the feasibility of a social media distribution methodology to survey platform workers globally.

Use the links below to view previous grant winners through our Past Grantee & Fellow Database


COVID-19 Grants

Social science played a crucial role in understanding the crisis of COVID-19 and future crises. Please view the list of COVID-19 Grant Awardees on the Past Grantees & Fellows page to learn more about the projects funded for this special grant topic.

Incarceration’s Impact on Families

View past grantees and special topics below, including details for three projects that received funding from CCSS and had a tremendous impact on furthering research in critical areas.

Incarceration's Impact on Families Website

An interdisciplinary team from Policy Analysis and Management, Government, and Sociology studied the level and extent to which incarceration affects families in the US. In addition to producing the first estimates of family-level contact with prisons and jails (at the national level, state level, and by demographic group), this research considered criminal justice contact beyond incarceration, current as well as historical family incarceration, and types or levels of family incarceration. Findings include the staggering revelation that nearly half of all people living in the United States have experienced incarceration in their family. One in seven adults has had a close family member spend more than one year in jail or prison—over 35 million people. This data, broken down by race, gender, and family income, provide policymakers, service providers, employers, and researchers with a much more nuanced and detailed understanding of how incarceration impacts American society.

Teaching Kids to be Safe Online

Social Media TestDrive Website

Social Media TestDrive is an interactive educational platform created by researchers in Cornell's Social Media Lab in collaboration with Common Sense Education and with input from educators in Cornell’s Cooperative Extension and 4-H. TestDrive is an educational program that enables young people to learn and practice digital citizenship skills through a social media simulation. Like a driving simulator for young people learning to drive a car for the first time, TestDrive provides a simulated experience of realistic digital dilemmas and scenarios that young people may encounter as they enter the social media world. Each module is designed to teach a specific social media skill, such as managing privacy settings, smart self-presentation, upstanding to cyberbullying, and news literacy. TestDrive looks and feels like a real social media site, but all the content on the site has been created for instructional purposes. Young people interact with the content through instructions that lead them to build new knowledge and skills, allowing them to practice critical social media skills without worrying about negative consequences. The TestDrive platform is now publicly available to kids, parents, and educators--with 40,000 users worldwide so far--and offers an important tool to teach youth to become prosocial, productive members of the digital world.


Digitizing the Roots of Racist Policing

Freedom on the Move Website

An interdisciplinary team led by a Cornell historian with collaborators from universities in five states is building an ever-expanding digitized database of fugitives from American slavery. Freedom on the Move (FOTM) is an effort to collect, transcribe, and analyze all of the existing advertisements placed by North American enslavers attempting to coerce and capture self-liberating African and African American people. Taken collectively, these runaway ads, with their details of individual lives and agency, constitute a rare source of information about the experiences and resistance of enslaved people that does not appear elsewhere in the historical record. The free, open-source site has been designed so users can transcribe the text of an advertisement, contributing to the trove of information available for scholars, genealogists, and historians. Edward Baptist, the Lead PI on the project, notes that many will see in the surveillance of Africans and African Americans, including the pursuit of runaways, the historical roots of today’s policing of African Americans. In the modern era, both professional and volunteer attempts to police Black movements seem to continue the long tradition of stopping, questioning, reporting, disciplining, and seizing Africans and African Americans—actions for which ordinary white citizens were rewarded for doing under slavery, from the 1600s to 1865.

Accelerated Research Grants

Accelerated Research Grants

Accelerated Research Grants are designed to support ambitious social science research by helping faculty obtain external funding to support this research. This funding is intended for Cornell researchers who have identified an ambitious external funding opportunity within the next year. Funding can be allocated to support faculty time or create specific outputs that will increase the success of external grant applications. 



These awards will support Cornell researchers pursuing large external grants with funding to support PI time and the creation of outputs that will increase the likelihood of the application’s success. The external grant must be submitted within 12 months of this award.   

Applications for Accelerated Research Grants will be reviewed quarterly. Up to $35,000 can be requested. 

Time & Outputs:

Time is often the number one challenge researchers face when preparing ambitious external funding proposals. This funding can be used to support faculty time in different ways, including, but not limited to, hiring an RA, hiring a teaching assistant, or hiring grant-writing support. Accelerated Research Grant funding can also be allocated for specific outputs linked directly to the pending grant proposal. This could include, but is not limited to, publications, websites, pilot studies, or making existing work open access. These outputs should increase the likelihood of external funding. These funds are not intended to seed new research projects; for new projects, please see CCSS Seed Grants

Qualifying Scenarios:

Applicants should have a clear path forward with a specific goal identified. Recipients of Accelerated Research Grants will submit external grant proposals within 12 months of receiving funds. 

  1. You've been awarded Phase 1 of a multi-phase grant, such as an NSF Convergence Accelerator Grant, and are preparing your Phase 2 submission. 
  2. You have an existing external grant and you're submitting a proposal to renew or continue the grant or a new grant proposal that builds directly on the currently funded project. 
  3. You submitted a grant proposal that did not receive funding and you are revising the proposal to resubmit. 


To submit an application for funding consideration, please complete this Qualtrics which asks for: 

  • External funding opportunity, planned date of submission (must be within 12 months of receiving funds), and anticipated budget amount of external proposal. 
  • An uploaded document that contains the following: 
    • Project: One paragraph providing a brief overview of the project and connection to the targeted external funding 
    • Plan: Explanation of how the funding will increase the success of your external proposal(s) (<500 words) 
    • Budget: Please provide a budget and budget justification for how you will use the funding (up to $35k) to support your time and/or the creation of specific outputs designed to increase the likelihood of obtaining the external grant support. 
Application Due DateAnticipated Decision Date
September 1October 1
December 1January 1
March 1April 1
June 1July 1

If an immediate opportunity presents itself, email about the possibility of off-cycle review.

Please email CCSS with any questions.

Hire a Grant Writer

Hire a Grant Writer

Apply Here

One of the biggest challenges when writing grant proposals is finding time to organize research ideas, preliminary findings, and proposed research into the format required by the grant agency. To help researchers with this process, CCSS and OVPRI have partnered to provide funding for grant writing services to assist with ambitious external grant applications. Up to $3,000 is available to hire grant writers, content editors, or proofreaders. If these services would be helpful, CCSS can help connect you with relevant grant-writing experts. 

To be eligible to receive these funds, the PI must be a CCSS affiliate. Contact CCSS today with any questions.

NIH Grant Development

NIH Grant Development

The Jeb. E Brooks School of Public PolicyCornell Center for Health Equity (CCHEq), Cornell Population Center (CPC), and Cornell Center for Social Sciences are offering support to PI-eligible Cornell social science researchers pursuing an NIH grant. This program focuses on mentoring social science researchers through the process of writing an NIH grant from concept to submission. 

Cornell researchers across colleges and departments have a long record of securing NIH funding. The NIH offers RFPs that fit with many areas of social science, including psychology, sociology, communication, human development, policy, government, demography, and economics. NIH topics of interest extend broadly into the social sciences and include social determinants of health and well-being such as incarceration, racial discrimination, and social justice, along with population science on topics such as climate migration, aging, and mortality differentials. 

NIH Grant Development Program Information Session

View Recording

More details on this program can be found in the tabs below. 

Program Goals

  1. Incentivize and support high-quality federal NIH (e.g. K, R01, R03, or R21) grant submissions, with a strong likelihood of success, from social science researchers across Cornell. 

  2. Provide institutional support for health and social-scientific research. 

  3. Build inter-campus collaborations by leveraging NIH and social science expertise across Cornell. 

  4. Proactively recruit junior faculty, particularly junior faculty of color, to increase faculty diversity and inclusion and support the next generation of research in the social sciences. 

Program Structure

PI-eligible Cornell social science researchers may apply for the formal Grant Writing Workshop Series cohort, while postdocs, ABD PhD students, and others are welcome to attend individual workshop sessions. Participants who are not affiliated with CCHEq or CPC will be encouraged to affiliate with these centers. 

The Grant Writing Workshop Series consists of four hour-long sessions (from February to early April) in which participants will work toward developing a well-considered Specific Aims page. Cohort members are expected to attend each workshop, complete “homework” assignments for each session, and submit a draft Specific Aims page for review and feedback by senior faculty.  

After completion of the Grant Writing Workshop Series early in the calendar year, participants will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding and support via one of two tracks in Spring 2024.  

Cohort members who complete the workshop series, including Specific Aims, will receive $3,000 in discretionary funds to pursue their research. 

Track One: Pilot Grants 

This track is for those eligible from the Grant Writing Workshop Series cohort who do not yet have preliminary data and are on a grant submission timeline that is after February 2025.  

Upon completion of the workshop series, cohort members submit a revised Specific Aims page, a one-page “response to reviewers,” a description of what preliminary data is needed to enhance the competitiveness of the proposal, and a brief budget. Successful proposals receive up to $3,000 for data collection or other research-related costs associated with enhancing the project. Funds may not be used for hardware purchasing or faculty salary.  

Upon completion of Track One, the PI has the option of applying to Track Two. 

Track Two: Grant Writing Fellows Program 

This track is for cohort members who have identified a grant submission timeline within the 12 months following the workshop series.  

Upon completion of the workshop series, cohort members submit a revised Specific Aims page and a brief, one-page response to reviews from the original submission, a PI and team (including a Cornell-affiliated faculty mentor with PI experience who has agreed to the role), a targeted mechanism and rationale for why the proposal is a good fit for that mechanism/call, a timeline for submission of proposal, and a budget for proposal.  

Mentors are suggested by the PIs. Participating centers can provide assistance in helping their members identify relevant mentors. The mentor’s job is to (a) engage additional experts as needed to make the project competitive; (b) read and edit drafts of the proposal; and (c) assist with identifying institutional resources to support the proposal. Mentors will receive up to $2,500 for a commitment to mentor applicant through the grant submission process. The mentor may or may not serve as a co-PI.  

Successful proposals receive up to $10,000 for up to 1-month of summer salary to use on grant preparation (RA, pilot data, or travel for proposal planning at researcher’s discretion). Please note that summary salary will need to be disclosed on a PI’s current and pending when submitting a proposal to NIH.  

Fellows are expected to submit a grant proposal to NIH by February 2025 (a one-grant cycle extension is permitted – from October 2025 proposed to February 2026, for example). Upon submission, fellows receive an additional $1,000 in a discretionary or research account.  

NIH Grant Writing Workshops

The four workshop sessions will start in February and wrap up by early April.

The workshop series is designed to help prepare faculty for development of a successful NIH proposal.  Topics include NIH funding mechanisms, relevant grant ideas, PI resources, building interdisciplinary teams, budgeting, grant writing styles, writing Specific Aims, and the proposal review process.  Workshops also give participants an opportunity to interact directly with experienced, successful grant recipients. Please contact Becky Warner for meeting access if you wish to attend the workshops but not apply for the funded cohort.

2024 Track One Awards: Pilot Research Grants

This track is for eligible faculty from the 2024 cohort who will gather data and submit their NIH grant proposal after February 2025.


Headshot of Fatma Baytar

Fatma Baytar, Human-Centered Design

Headshot of Jenna Wells

Jenna Wells, Psychology


Headshot of Chuan Liao

Chuan Liao, Global Development



2024 Track Two Awards: Grant Development Fellowships

This track is for 2024 cohort members who will submit their NIH grant proposal on or before February 2025.


Headshot Kathryn Fiorella

Kathryn Fiorella, Public and Ecosystem Health

Headshot of David Scales

David Scales, Internal Medicine


Headshot of So-Yeon Yoon

So-Yeon Yoon, Human-Centered Design

Headshot of Wenfei Xu

Wenfei Xu, City and Regional Planning


2023 Track One Awards: Pilot Research Grants

This track is for eligible faculty from the 2023 cohort who will gather data and submit their NIH grant proposal after February 2024.

Laura Bellows, Nutritional Sciences

Aditya Vashistha, Information Science


2023 Track Two Awards: Grant Development Fellowships

This track is for 2023 cohort members who will submit their NIH grant proposal on or before February 2024.